The Ministry of Health of India issued a statement on the 24th, stating that in the past two weeks, the epidemic in India has shown obvious signs of rebound, and the mutated new crown virus has spread to 18 states in India. At the same time, a new variant of the new coronavirus was discovered in the state of Maharashtra in the country. The strain has double mutations, which may weaken the immune effect and become more infectious. In the past three months, 10 official laboratories in India conducted genomic analysis on 10787 positive samples of the new coronavirus. The results showed that 771 samples were infected with the mutant new coronavirus, of which 736 samples were infected with the mutant virus found in the UK , The number of mutant virus samples found in South Africa and Brazil were 34 and 1 respectively. However, due to limited samples, it is currently impossible to determine whether the mutant virus is related to the recent rebound of the epidemic in India.
The United States’ attempts to encourage allies to join the anti-China united front shifted from Asia to Europe. On the 23rd local time, Secretary of State Blincoln, during his first European trip as the top US diplomat, showed NATO the determination of the United States to embrace the transatlantic alliance again. In the dialogue with the NATO Secretary-General and the foreign ministers of some NATO countries, “China threat” and “counter to China” have almost become Brinken’s mantra. On the 24th, he will also restart a strategic dialogue between the United States and Europe on China with senior EU officials. It is Sima Zhao’s heart for the United States to build a “Alliance to Contain China”. However, Brinken turned his head in a speech at NATO headquarters on the 24th, claiming that the United States would not force its allies to choose sides between the United States and China. “We know that our allies have a complicated relationship with China, and they don’t always align perfectly with us.” I don’t know how the EU, the United Kingdom, and Canada feel about this. Two days ago, regardless of the cost of deteriorating relations with China, they joined the coordinated sanctions against China and were tied to the “chariot” of the United States. After being counter-sanctioned by China, some European lawmakers also threatened to “punish” China by vetoing the China-EU investment agreement. Faced with such a “suicidal” operation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “I just want to say that the China-EU Investment Agreement is not a gift from one party to the other, it is mutually beneficial.”
Brinken talks about China everywhere
Brinken started his Brussels trip by showing his best to NATO. On the 23rd, he expressed the Biden administration’s “unshakable commitment” at a press conference before the meeting with NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, stating that the United States hopes to rebuild partnerships, primarily with NATO allies. Agence France-Presse commented that Brinken urgently needs to repair the tight relationship between the United States and NATO under Trump. At the same time, Washington tried hard to get Brussels to join the “Democratic United Front” to jointly deal with the rising China.
Stoltenberg welcomed Blinken’s statement. “Far Canton” reported that the two mentioned the “threat” of China and Russia many times when they met with reporters. Stoltenberg said that this meeting will formulate an ambitious transatlantic agenda for the future to protect the “rules-based” international order, which is being challenged by China and Russia. “Russia” commented that on March 24, the 22nd anniversary of NATO’s bombing of the Yugoslavia, the NATO Secretary-General’s remarks were very ironic. In 1999, without the approval of the UN Security Council, NATO carried out a brutal bombing of Yugoslavia, demonstrating their so-called “rules” to the world.
The US Political News Network stated that when Blincoln flew to Brussels, the diplomatic relationship between the EU and China was declining sharply due to a round of sanctions and counter-sanctions. For him, this deterioration is like a gift from a diplomatic paradise. But in the eyes of analysts, this is fundamentally manipulated by the United States. Singapore’s “Lianhe Zaobao” quoted scholars as saying that the United States may have realized that face-to-face pressure on China was not effective at the Sino-US talks last week, so it summoned allies to join hands on the Xinjiang issue. Hua Chunying criticized the United States and its “Five Eyes Alliance” allies for coordinating sanctions against China on the 24th, acting as if they were going to fight in groups. “Their faces can’t help but remind people of the Eight-Power Allied Forces,” but they cannot represent the international community.
Brinken spurred at a press conference on the 24th that whether to “fulfil its promises” to the EU and open the economy to Europe depends on China. Later, he said in his speech that “China is a threat from the West” and called on all parties to work together to win “competition with China in any field.”
Brinken will also meet with EU leaders on the 24th. The British “Financial Times” reported that Brinken will restart the US-Europe strategic dialogue on China with Borelli, the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy, on Wednesday. The dialogue will focus on areas such as human rights and security.
A German TV station reported that NATO foreign ministers admitted frankly that dealing with China is a bit difficult. But just as British Prime Minister Johnson previously called China a “difficult partner” and emphasized the importance of China as a trading partner, there are differences between NATO partners and they have not yet determined how to deal with China. Hong Kong’s “South China Morning Post” quoted Lu Xiang, an expert on American issues at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying that Brinken’s remarks may provide some comfort to NATO, “but I doubt whether they can form a complete set of joint foreign policies.” Because most NATO members have no real conflicts of interest with China. They may express or take some actions under pressure from the United States, but they cannot go too far.
On the 25th, US President Biden will personally go into battle. Agence France-Presse reported that Biden will participate in the EU summit through video to revitalize US-EU relations and discuss common interests in foreign policy, including issues of China and Russia. “Biden will continue to push Europe to take a tough stance against China,” the Financial Times quoted Noah Bakin, an analyst at the consulting firm Rongding Group, as saying that this means that Brussels, Berlin and Paris are facing some very difficult choices. “The past week shows that walking a tightrope between Washington and Beijing will become more difficult.”
Europe threatens China with its own interests
After China announced tit-for-tat sanctions on relevant EU institutions and personnel, European countries such as France, Germany, Belgium and other European countries successively summoned Chinese ambassadors to make representations, claiming that China’s sanctions were unacceptable. Hua Chunying said on the 24th that the EU can only arbitrarily discredit and attack itself, and even arbitrarily sanction based on false information. China is not allowed to retaliate or fight back. This itself is a manifestation of double standards, bullying and hypocrisy. China does not accept the unreasonable practice of some European countries in summoning Chinese ambassadors.
Some European parliamentarians threatened to “cancel the China-EU Investment Agreement” in an attempt to force China to compromise. The British “Times” reported on the 24th that after China imposed tit-for-tat sanctions, the European Parliament decided to abolish the China-EU Investment Agreement Review Conference on the 23rd. Members of Parliament went further and threatened to completely destroy the milestone between the EU and China. Significant investment agreement. The second largest group in the European Parliament, the center-left society and the Democratic Party, claimed that China must lift sanctions to reach an agreement. The European Commission’s Executive Vice President and EU Trade Director Don Brovskis also said on the 24th that the fate of the China-EU Investment Agreement is closely related to the diplomatic dispute that broke out this week.
After seven years of negotiations, China and Europe completed the investment agreement negotiations as scheduled at the end of last year. On the European side, the entry into force of the agreement must be approved by the European Parliament. The Speaker of the European Parliament David Sassoli vowed on the 23rd to retaliate against China’s “provocation”. The US Political News Network reported that Sassori warned China not to think that Europe was a “punching bag,” but he did not explain what the retaliatory measures might be, nor did he support the call for the cancellation of the China-EU investment agreement.
The “Financial Times” report can explain why Sassori’s attitude is contradictory. The newspaper stated that the agreement can open investment opportunities for EU companies operating in the Chinese market and prevent EU companies from being at a disadvantage relative to US competitors when operating in China. Specifically, it provides European companies with the possibility to increase production in promising areas, such as electric vehicles. Regarding the mutual sanctions between Europe and China, the “Berlin Daily” commented that if Europe starts a dangerous spiral escalation activity, it will be more destructive. In the end, there are only losers and no winners.
“There are major obstacles to the establishment of a comprehensive alliance between the EU and the United States on the China issue.” The U.S. Political News Network commented that Europe’s powerful pro-business interest groups are more interested in the China-EU investment agreement than in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. And the European Commission has invested a lot of political capital in reaching an agreement with Beijing. In fact, on the same day Brinken tried to persuade the Europeans, Pratt, the EU’s chief negotiator for China, will be at a seminar entitled “Building a Win-Win: Exploring the Potential of a China-EU Investment Agreement” jointly organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the European Union. Give a speech.
“Friendly Mr. Biden” showed an unfriendly face
Blinken’s statement of “revitalizing NATO allies” and Stoltenberg’s enthusiastic response to him, can they represent the overall picture of the relationship between the United States and NATO? the answer is negative. Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on the 24th that NATO hopes that Washington will make a decision on whether or not the US military will stay in Afghanistan. Brinken replied with “the United States is still considering”. The newspaper said that even after Trump, the differences between the United States and NATO are not limited to Afghanistan policy. The German weekly “Der Spiegel” stated that during a meeting with the German Foreign Minister on the 24th, Brinken asked Germany to stop the “Beixi-2” natural gas pipeline project, otherwise the United States would not rule out sanctions against Germany.
“The friendly Mr. Biden showed an unfriendly face.” The German weekly “Focus” commented on the 24th that Europeans rejoiced in the change of American power and hoped that transatlantic relations would be restarted. But Biden’s Secretary of State left an unpleasant message at the Brussels meeting. The report questioned whether the new beginning of the relationship between the two sides has failed?
Russia’s “Viewpoint” commented that the European Union has lost the ability to independently implement foreign policy and is accustomed to the United States making decisions for it. But now, the American “chariot” is flying along a confrontational route that is extremely unfavorable to the Europeans. The decision-making of European elites is not based on rationality and national interests, but based on Stockholm syndrome. The newspaper stated that the European Union imposed sanctions on China, its main trading partner, and was surprised by China’s anti-sanction measures. It is hard to think of being more naive than European politicians.
“Why does Europe trust the United States in everything?” British political analyst Foday wrote in “Russia Today” that the EU’s inclusion of Chinese officials and entities on the sanctions list is largely symbolic, but China’s willingness to respond It is true-Beijing will never compromise on its core interests, so it is prepared to respond severely to any containment attempts by the West. Europe should remember that the China-EU Investment Agreement is very beneficial to Europe. With all this in mind, Brussels needs to make some difficult decisions not to be deceived by that kind of ostentation.